Even at less than 100 percent, BA's Ramsey still best at Great Eight

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11:40pm

Although not quite at his best, Jalen Ramsey still was plenty good enough at the Great Eight track meet.

Despite a painful hip flexor, the Brentwood Academy senior won three events and was named boys athlete of the meet in the annual event on the Vanderbilt track.

"To be honest with you, I'm hurting, it's pretty painful,'' Ramsey, who injured the hip while competing in the long jump Saturday in the Doug Hall Relays, said. "But I'm better than I was Saturday. I'm rehabbing the best I can, but I can't say exactly as to when I'll be 100 percent. I hope not long.''

Ramsey made just one attempt in both the long jump and the triple jump. That was all he needed to win those events with distances of 23-10 and 46-7, respectively. In the final event, he ran a 21.87 in the 200 and edged teammate D'Montre Wade at the tape for his third win of the day.

"I just want to keep rehabbing, keep getting stronger, and God willing, I'll be as strong as ever,'' Ramsey, the 2012 Division II state decathlon champion, said.

BA senior Breanna Tate recoded personal bests in the 100 (12.03) and 200-meter dashes (24.19). She smoked the field in the latter race, which included her twin sister Deanna, the runnerup, by more than five meters. In 100, Breanna Tate edged Hillsboro star Janel Pate in the 100.

"It was awesome,'' Breanna said of her two PRs. "My coach [Cathy Cheeseman] said it was important to get out of the blocks quickly, and that's what I did. I wanted to do well at my last Great Eight, because it's such a wonderful meet.''

The meet brings together the top Midstate runners and field event participants with the eight best times and distances of the spring.

Northeast High standout Brittany Kelly won three events and was named girls athlete of the meet after. She placed first in the long jump (18-0), 100 hurdles (14.58) and 300 hurdles. She defended her meet title in the latter event, which she won by almost 20 meters in 44.92.

Nashville Christian School senior Phillip Booker edged BGA's Anthony Dunavant in the 110-meter hurdles and also placed sixth in the 200. He will play football in college after rushing for 2,000 yards for the Eagles and says he has narrowed his choices to University of Alabama-Birmingham and Murray State.

"I love running the hurdles,'' Booker, the reigning state champ in that event, said. "When I was at Brentwood Academy, coach Charlie Harper said to attack the hurdles, and that's what I do.''

Other highlights:

• Brentwood High's Alec Thomas rallied down the straightaway and nipped MLK's Sam Klockenkemper at the tape, winning the boys 1600 by inches in 4:16.57. His margin of victory, .01 seconds, made it the closest race of the day.

• Siegel's Nicole Gardner held off 2012 Class AA state champion Barbara Lee Ball of Lipscomb to win the girls 1600.

•  Blackman sprinter Maison Baer edged Independence's Vic Wharton to win the boys 100.

• Harpeth Hall's Catherine McDowell, who won the Hall Relays pole vault, won her event again with a height of 10-6, which edged Lipscomb's Sarah Browning (10-0).

• Justin Lankes of Ravenwood also repeated his Hall Relays victory in the boys pole vault with a clearance 14-6, ahead of MBA's Ryan Carr (14-0).

• Oakland's Brock Baker finished strong and won the 800 in 1:52.85. All eight runners broke 2:00, a meet first.

• Antioch's Shana Johnson was an impressive winner in the girls 400 with a time of 56.93.